Twelve High Chicks thanks guest contributors Talya Hart and Bert Easterbrook for their coverage of the 2017 Cannabis Hemp Conference and Expo.

This year, we as a family unit had the opportunity to attend the third annual Cannabis Hemp Conference and Expo, held at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It was a big change in pace for us from the Global Marijuana March, which we have attended in years past.

Cannabis Hemp Conference and Expo

It was a beautiful sunny weekend for the Conference and Expo. And it really felt like it was going to be enjoyable and informative; both my husband and I are activists for hemp and cannabis. We were excited to fill in some knowledge gaps while learning what is in Canada’s future for these resources.

Family Friendly Expo

The Expo was better than I had expected. I was truly blown away by how open and friendly everyone was to me and my family. Especially considering we brought our eight month old son (which as any parent knows can present any number of challenges)!

Accessible Layout

I thought that with the event being spaced out over four floors of the UBC Nest building it would make it difficult to get around, especially with a stroller. But it was very mobility-aid friendly and had elevators on either end of the event for accessibility. The layout had an excellent flow to it, encouraging you to move around and not just stick to one area. This meant a lot to see as you soaked in the stylish decor and engineering of the building.

Cannabis Hemp Conference 2017 UBC Nest

Four floors, but still open, airy, and remarkably easy to move through even with an 8 month old.

One of the best parts of this event was medicating freely outside on the grassy hill, with the sun shining down on us and not a single ill glance that a family was outside enjoying a beautiful day and event together (that just happened to have cannabis in the mix).

Fantastic People

Exploring the vendors was a very down to earth feel when our little man was too wiggly and happy and might distract the speakers. It was quite refreshing that none of the vendors seemed to be competitive with each other. Instead, they all seemed so open to one another and accepting of everything that they were doing.

Cannabis Hemp Conference Vendor Products

Finally a Canadian cannabis expo that allowed cannabis!

My son loved seeing everything on the tables and interacting with all the diverse range of people in attendance. I thought I would get a lot of distasteful looks from vendors or admin, but we were welcomed with open arms. And asked a lot of good questions in regards to our views and practices regarding “pot parenting.” I was almost overwhelmed by all the positive responses for bringing my son along. 

It wasn’t some dry, info-gorged snooze fest, full of people pushing their own agendas. This event made me feel like it was a family of strangers getting together for the purpose of  learning about a plant that can heal both people and the planet. 

Cannabis Hemp Conference 2017 cannalife botanicals

Cannabis was available from fresh buds to topicals. The community feeling continued.

Hands-On Workshops

Part of this vibe was from sitting in on some of the less formal workshops. They were a bit more interactive and entertaining for my son, and even allowed him a nice atmosphere to sleep in when his senses and tummy were full.

Watermelon’s Edibles

A great example of this was the “Cannabis Culinary Arts – Cashew Ice Cream and Spanokopita Workshop by Watermelon” for beginners to the concept of medicated foods, taught by Mary Jean “Watermelon” Dunsdon and her wonderful mother, Mary Elizabeth.

Cannabis Hemp Conference 2017 Watermelon and Mum

The Dunsdons have fun while teaching. With cannabis ice cream how can you not?

The class taught the basic science behind “decarbing” (knocking off a carbon atom from a molecule through heating) your cannabis, and various ways to infuse your food. They made three delicious medicated courses: spanakopita, salmon, and they finished off with a rum and cannabis-infused cashew ice cream.

The spanakopita was a delicious snack with a very light dose. Sadly I didn’t get to try the ice cream and salmon because we needed to cover another lecture. But man, did it all look and smell really tasty.

Organic Growing

One of the best places we found was the “Cannabis Growing – Take Home Your Own Cannabis Plant Workshop by David Bernard Perron, Travis Lane, and Susan Sheldon” outside on the rooftop patio. A fresh breeze blew and the sun shone on beautiful, fresh-cut clones of UBC Chemo, while the grow masters conversed with the attendees.

Cannabis Hemp Conference 2017 seedlings

More cannabis allowed at the conference: UBC Chemo.

This workshop was full of great organic tips for getting rid of pests indoor and outdoor, rooting practices, and handling. As well it went deep into the science of soil nutrition, including a healthy microbe content and pH levels to get the best from this wonderful plant.

At the end they let everyone plant one of the clones in a pot and take it home with them! So naturally I planted one with my son and now it sits with our veggies at home; I want my son to grow up in a world that sees this as a wholesome practice. Cannabis is a nutrition supplement that belongs in the garden next to our food; it’s not some scary plant that will reach out and kill you and you family.

To that end we were presented with both scientific and spiritual evidence that hemp and cannabis are beneficial to a healthy life, both human and ecological.

Cannabis Hemp Conference 2017 planting

Hands-on instructors help hands-on workshops especially with handing out clones.

And it was nice to get our hands dirty while learning these lessons.

Go to the Cannabis Hemp Conference and Expo

In the end this was such a heartwarming and informative event. Everyone was very accepting and had such a passion to share and learn about an amazing plant. My son and I had a wonderful time exploring the event while my husband documented. We all enjoyed talking with new and old friends, and learning about cannabis. 

I would happily suggest the 2018 Cannabis Hemp Conference and Expo at UBC for anyone interested in cannabis and hemp. Whether in the cannabis industry or just personally interested, you’ll learn more about its benefits and how this plant has helped so many people all around the world already.

All photography courtesy of EDI – Easterbrook Digital Imaging for Twelve High Chicks.